LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — California’s top education official says the state’s students posted the ninth straight year of gains in English and math proficiency on this year’s standardized tests.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Friday that the scores were the highest since the Standardized Testing and Reporting exams were revamped in 2003.

READ MORE: Brother Joins Public Outcry Calling For Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli To Step Down

> 2012: STAR Test Results – Search Your Child’s School

Students in grades 2 to 11 take the tests in the spring of each school year. Schools consider the tests a crucial measure of their success or failure.

READ MORE: Lafayette to Consider Making Stop Sign Bird Houses Public Art Over Objections

The number of students scoring proficient or above in English-language arts increased by 3 percentage points, to 57 percent, while math proficiency rose by 1 percentage point, to 51
percent.

Torlakson says although the results are encouraging, the state still has a long way to go, particularly for black and Latino students.

MORE NEWS: eBay Removes Listing for Art Created in California Japanese Internment Camp

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)